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Neptune Pool Repair
The Neptune Pool Repair in San Simeon is the winner of a 2019 Preservation Design Award for Craftsmanship. Award recipients are selected by a jury of top professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning, and history, as well as renowned architecture critics and journalists. In making their decision, the jury noted that the audacity and scale of the work, stating, “this was such a courageous project to take on, and the craftsmanship is incredible. They did an impressive job – the logistics, the forensics involved – it’s an important project.”
The Award will be presented on Friday, October 18, 2019 at a gala dinner and awards ceremony at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco. Tickets and sponsorship options are available at californiapreservation.org/awards.
About this project
William Randolph Hearst and Julia Morgan began designing the Neptune Pool at Hearst San Simeon State Historic Park, in 1924, and completed the pool basin, terraces and colonnades in 1936. The Vermont marble cladding was directly adhered to the concrete with mortar, and did not include a membrane, as was common for construction techniques of the time. Over time, cracking of the concrete substrate and the mortar allowed water to leak from the pool. The client started the renovation project to remove and replace the marble cladding, repair the concrete substrate and install new marble cladding over an elastomeric membrane. New material was sourced from the Vermont quarries that provided the original marble, and in addition to standard tiles to duplicate the pattern of the original pool layout, the project included many specialty shaped pieces – fluted panels, straight and radiused gutters, ladder rails and decorative volutes.
Neptune Pool, an iconic part of Hearst San Simeon State Historic Monument, perfectly encapsulates the larger story of the vision of William Randolph Hearst as articulated and executed by his architect, Julia Morgan, and a full crew of craftsmen and laborers. Like the entire La Cuesta Encantada complex, it was designed and constructed, and revised and enlarged, several times until work stopped on the hilltop just after World War 2. It was also a fully collaborative effort of client and architect, with Hearst purchasing components like the Neptune grouping – originally sited at the top of a cascade waterfall before finally coming to rest in the pedimented Temple structure – and Morgan expertly providing a poetic and wholly encompassing context for the artifacts.
Photos © Hearst Castle ® California State Parks and Risser Fine Art Conservation.
Project Design Lead/Architect
Shelly Dildey, California State Parks
Dan Falat, California State Parks
Tom Dufurrena, Page & Turnbull
Emilio Torres, 4LEAF, Inc.
Hoyt Fields, California State Parks
Dan Osanna, California State Parks
Consulting Structural Engineer
Alan Kren, Rutherford + Chekene
Consulting MEP Engineer
Matt Reynolds, Terracon
Juan Ochoa, California State Parks
John Tiersma, T. B. Penick & Sons, Inc.
Specialty Sub-Contractor (Tile)
David Carnavale, Carnavale & Lohr
Ann Hubbard, Carl Schilling Stoneworks
Martin Hemm, Carl Schilling Stoneworks
Brent Wilson, Proctor Marble Co
Erik Risser, Erik Risser Fine Arts Conservation